Instituto de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim

Top choice in Belo Horizonte

The world's largest open-air contemporary art museum, and greater Belo Horizonte's standout attraction, this sprawling, world-class complex of gardens dotted with 23 modern art galleries and numerous outdoor sculptures lies 50km west of the city, near Brumadinho. Much of the international artwork on view is monumental in size, with galleries custom-built to display it. The constantly expanding gardens has over 4000 different species of plants (including one of the world's most extensive collections of palm trees) and lakes with swans.

You can wander at will, or attend daily scheduled programs led by guides trained in visual arts and natural science. Ten on-site eateries serve everything from hot dogs to gourmet international fare. Wednesday's a great day to visit, as the museum is free; weekends can get crowded, but offer a wider range of guided tours.

From Tuesday through Sunday Saritur runs direct buses (R$74 round trip, 1½ hours each way) from Belo Horizonte to Inhotim at 8:15am, returning at 4:30pm weekdays, 5:30pm Saturday and Sunday.